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Madison Montgomery is a ward at Miss Robichaux's Academy for Exceptional Young Ladies. She is a character in American Horror Story portrayed by Emma Roberts. She is a focus of paparazzi (due to her career in acting), and is known for her partying habits.

Background

A 17-year-old, out-of-control Hollywood starlet, Madison Montgomery is used to things being her way or in her favor. But after becoming stranded at Miss Robichaux's Academy, she may learn that she needs more than star power to shine.[1] She is also an extremely powerful telekinetic who easily used her power (whilst intoxicated) to tip over a coach, resulting in the death of nearly all the guys inside.

Because of her family's small income, with no one being able to keep a steady job, her mother capitalized on her daughter's early beauty and talent to make her a child star. Madison soon became the breadwinner. She claims her mother was horrible, and at one point in her life snorted half her cocaine and then pinned the whole fault on Madison when the police showed up. Madison sought refuge in Miss Robichaux's Academy for Exceptional Young Ladies when it became publicly apparent that she was special. This came to head when she killed her director after he criticized her ability to follow directions by telekinetically dropping a spotlight on his head.

Personality and Appearance

Thin with wavy blonde hair that she keeps immaculate and icy hazel eyes, Madison is a strikingly beautiful and charismatic woman. She is extremely confident, self-centered and egotistical, she, however, does show glimpses of vulnerability, especially after being gang-raped at the frat party she attends with Zoe. Vain and brassy, she wears only name brand clothing and keeps her makeup flawless. Madison's dynamic with the other students in the school is verbally abusive, and at times comes to magical blows. Madison is sharp-tongued and willful, taking jabs at Nan, Queenie, and even Fiona, though she is quickly put in her place by the Supreme. In Zoe, however, she finds a friend and this bond is quickly solidified during the frat party; at which Zoe makes it point to track down Madison's rapists only to bear witness to Madison's true powers as she overturns their escaping bus with a simple wave of her arm, killing all except two students.

However, throughout the course of the series, Zoe begins to resent Madison after seeing her narcissistic and sociopathic tendencies such as attempting to kill Misty and showing no remorse for her or Nan's deaths. It seems her friendship with Zoe meant nothing to her since she refused to bring Zoe back after she accidentally killed herself saying she "lost fair and square".

Despite this, after experiencing hell and being resurrected by Michael Langdon, Madison displays remorse over her past attitude to life. Madison displays a certain softer side when visiting the Murder House, allowing Moira O'Hara to escape eternal torment at the house and reconciling Violet Harmon and Tate Langdon. This coupled with the news of Langdon's identity as the Anti-Christ, sobers her attitude to her fellow witches, even towards Queenie. She even developed a murderous intent over Dinah Stevens for having a hand for destroying her coven, showing her affection and care for the other witches.

Story

Coven

Madison Montgomery, Nan, and Queenie decide to pull a prank on the new student Zoe.  As Zoe enters Miss Robichaux's Academy for Exceptional Young Ladies the girls stalk her and ultimately seize her and pin her to a table. Madison mounts Zoe and draws a ceremonial knife, holding it over her head all the while Zoe is screaming for her life. She begins to chant and right as she brings the knife down the girls quit their act and reveal that it was all a joke. They introduce themselves, and Zoe recognizes Madison for her roles in movies.[2] 

Later that night, the girls get to know each other during dinner. Madison reminisces about her life before coming to the school and glosses over an incident with a director that she killed with her telekinesis because he critiqued her ability to follow directions. Nan quickly confirmed to everyone at the table that the "accident" was anything but, much to Madison's annoyance. Queenie then began to berate Madison and in anger, Madison mentally threw Queenie's dinner onto her. Queenie retaliated by stabbing her hand and directing the resulting pain and damage on to Madison's body. Nan persuades Queenie to leave before things get worse. Zoe and Madison remain at the table with Madison declaring that given the circumstances, it looks like Zoe will be her new best friend. Madison gets informed via social media of a frat party taking place and invites Zoe to tag along as her new "best friend".  At the party, Madison is hit on by one of the frat boys and instructs him to get her a drink. Unbeknownst to her, the guy mixes roofies into her drink. Madison becomes impaired as a result, and the frat boy leads her into a bedroom.[2]

A group of frat boys gang rape a half-conscious Madison, some even recording videos of her on their phones, until their fraternity president Kyle Spencer walks in with Zoe and chases them out the party. The rapists and Kyle (who was knocked out) end up on their party bus and attempt to escape, but they don't get far because Madison, now conscious, seizes their bus with her telekinesis and destroys it by flipping it upside down with them inside. Only two fraternity brothers survive, the others are dismembered and killed. While Madison says the following morning that she is over what happened, she is later shown sobbing in the bathtub.[2]

After learning that Zoe used her gift to kill the main rapist, Madison decides to repay Zoe back by helping her reanimate Kyle since Zoe can never have a living human due to her power. However, when they arrive at the morgue, Kyle's body has been dismembered. Madison gets the idea to reattach other body parts to Kyle's head in order to create "the perfect boyfriend" for Zoe. When the resurrection spell doesn't appear to work, Madison goes outside to the car while Zoe says her last goodbyes to Kyle, but she ditches Zoe at the morgue when a security guard shows up.[3]

When Joan Ramsey and her attractive teenage son Luke move into the house next to the academy, Madison decides that he will be her latest conquest. She goes to the house with Nan, wearing a skintight dress, and attempts to flirt with Luke until his mother walks in. When Joan asks them to leave, Madison throws a knife at the wall. She also unintentionally sets the curtains on fire. After learning about Madison's new gift, Fiona takes her on as a new protege. In a pool hall, Madison practices Concilium while Fiona watches. They toast her success, and Fiona discreetly pours out her own alcohol, but Madison continues to become more intoxicated. She must now pay attention, lest Madison displace her as Supreme. Secretly Fiona is trying to keep Madison from replacing her. Back at the school, Fiona reveals that she is dying of cancer and that her life force and powers are pouring into Madison. Fiona hands Madison the same knife she used to slash Anna Leigh Leighton's throat in 1971, urging Madison to cut her throat and let her die in "style", but she refuses. During the scuffle, Fiona (seemingly) accidentally slashes Madison's throat.[4]

Fiona has Spalding get rid of Madison's body. The next day, the Council (who was called by Nan) visit the school, questioning the girls on the whereabouts of Madison. Upon learning from Nan that Fiona was the last person to see Madison alive, Myrtle Snow (the head of the Council) becomes convinced that Fiona murdered Madison to keep her from replacing her as Supreme. Cordelia defends her mother, telling the Council that Madison was not the next Supreme because Supremes have "radiant health" and Madison had a heart murmur, it would nullify her being the next in line. Spalding is keeping Madison's corpse as a life-sized addition to his doll collection[5], although she is steadily decaying and Spalding accidentally rips off her arm while pulling her out of a box.[6]

Zoe uses the spirit board to locate Madison. The board spells out "attic". Zoe goes into Spalding's room and finds Madison's body in the trunk and Spalding attacks her. Later, Zoe, Queenie, and Nan interrogate Spalding. They ask him questions and Nan reads his mind for an answer. Zoe asks him if he killed Madison, to which he responds "yes", however, Zoe knows he's lying. Zoe goes to Misty's shack and asks for her help. At the academy, Zoe and Misty repair Madison and resurrect her. Madison awakens and says "I need a cigarette." The girls decide to keep Madison's resurrection a secret.[7]

Later that night, Nan, Queenie, and Zoe ask Madison what she last remembers. Madison replies: "red" and tells them what it was like on the other side.[7]

She is later seen dressed in black engaged in a monologue with herself, she laments the fact that she cannot feel any physical sensations and is in obvious distress. She holds a lighter flame to her hand and devours the entire contents of the school's fridge in an attempt to feel something.[8]

She comes across Cordelia who has just ventured out of her room and rescues her from tumbling down the stairs due to her lack of sight. As the two make contact, Cordelia learns the truth of Madison's death through her new found powers. Knowing now that Fiona did kill her, Cordelia tells Madison that she has to stay hidden because they don't want her mother knowing that she's alive. Madison later has a conversation with Kyle, who Zoe is hiding inside the school, and asks him if he remembers dying. For her, she explains that it was dark and cold. Like a deep sleep. When Madison starts to cry, Kyle tries to comfort her by giving her a hug. Which eventually leads to the two having sex off-screen.[8]

During sexual intercourse, they are discovered by Zoe, who immediately leaves the room. Madison later confronts Zoe about what happened. While Zoe claims she's fine with her sleeping with Kyle, Madison proposes an arrangement. She leads Zoe into her bedroom, where Kyle is waiting on the bed and proposes that they share him since Zoe can't have sex with a living person without killing them, and being with Kyle is the first thing that makes Madison feel alive. She and Zoe then have a threesome with Kyle.[8]

Madison and Zoe go to the hospital about Nan, Zoe and Madison along with Nan decide to enter Luke's room where they are confronted by Joan. Madison reveals that they are witches and after a brief conversation the girls go back to the academy. Upon reaching the academy Madison is surprised to see Kyle incredibly normal, Fiona takes the credit.[9]

Madison and Zoe get into an argument because Madison is pissed that Zoe has fallen in love with Kyle and isn't sharing him like they originally planned. This is escalating further when Kyle rebuffs her when she attempts to give him a blowjob and announces that he is in love with Zoe. Madison attacks Zoe, hitting her in the back of the head with a lamp using her telekinesis. Myrtle breaks up the scuffle, and Madison threatens Kyle with how much fun it would be to take him back apart before she departs the room.[10]

Cordelia visits Madison, wanting help in finding Misty but Madison uses transmutation to evade Cordelia's touch but later gives in and says she has no secrets to hide. Later, Myrtle tells Madison that Cordelia and Queenie have headed out to retrieve Misty, much to Madison's displeasure. Misty returns to the Academy and punches Madison for trying to kill her. A fight ensues between the two witches, but Misty gains the upper hand before the fight is broken up by Kyle. Madison (along with Zoe, Queenie, and Misty) murder The Axeman.[11]

Madison, Misty, Queenie, and Zoe begin the Seven Wonders. Eventually, the test of the Seven Wonders comes down to Queenie and Madison after Misty dies from being unable to come back from Descensum and Zoe dies from accidentally impaling herself on the front gate using Transmutation. Queenie is unable to bring Zoe back to life using Vitalum Vitalis, and Madison successfully kills and brings a fly back to life. The matrons tell her that if she does not try to return Zoe then she is not worthy to be Supreme. Madison tells them off and walks away. Cordelia decides to enter the test of the Seven Wonders, successfully performing Telekinesis, Concilium, Descensum, and Transmutation. Madison attempts to do Divination to find an item belonging to Anna Leigh Leighton, but fails twice to Cordelia. Madison curses and departs, threatening to expose the Coven to the media. Kyle appears, wanting to know why she let Zoe die, since they both know the darkness beyond death. Mad, he attacks her, and she says she did it for him. Kyle says she's not that good an actress and strangles her to death. It is heavily implied that Madison's corpse was buried by Kyle and Spalding, using her planned departure as a cover up for her disappearance. [12]

Apocalypse

On Halloween 2021, many months after the nuclear destruction, Madison, Cordelia, and Myrtle Snow arrive at Outpost 3 (noticeably unaffected by the contaminated atmosphere) and infiltrate the building with absolute ease. After the Supreme commands the two witches to "find their sisters", Madison and Myrtle bring the corpses of Coco St. Pierre Vanderbilt, Mallory and Dinah Stevens, who are revealed to be witches, to the main hall. Cordelia resurrects the three of them using Vitalum Vitalis. After Mallory awakes, Madison gets near her and speaks her iconic catchphrase: "Surprise, bitch. I bet you thought you'd seen the last of me."

Three Years Before the Bomb (2017)
After her death at the hands of Kyle Spencer in 2014, Madison returned to her own personal hell: a superstore where she is processing a never-ending line of returns, whose every customer behaves rudely and confuses her for Lindsay Lohan. She is overworked, undervalued and unrecognized. After a customer asks to talk to the manager, Madison is tazed by her manager with a cattle prod and sent to refold towels she just finished folding as punishment. In the middle of her pointless job, Michael Langdon arrives. Self-aware that she's dead and in her own hell, she's instantly aware that Michael is not part of her afterlife and is given the option to leave with him. Thankful, Madison accepts his offer and even seems ecstatic to see her former rival witch Queenie. To prove his power over Cordelia, Madison is resurrected by Michael and arrives at The Hawthorne School with Michael and Queenie in tow, shocking the Supreme (as well as Zoe Benson and Myrtle Snow, who stood at Cordelia's side) and causing her to collapse.

Shortly after, Madison is present when Micheal brings Misty Day back from the underworld, who had been trapped in her own personal hell since failing the Trial of Descensum in 2014. Shocked by the power Michael radiates, Cordelia tasks Madison to go to the origin of where Micheal came from, the Murder House, in hopes of learning more information about him. Behold Chablis overhears this conversation and tells them he's going with them. [13] Madison is angered at being sent to the Murder House, as she believes the Witches' Council is sending her there because she is expendable, but she agrees to the task because she wants to make the most out of her third chance at life. Madison and Behold purchase the Murder House in the guise of a regular straight couple named Mr. and Mrs. James.

Arriving at the Murder House, Madison and Behold cast a spell to reveal the spirits of the House, meeting Beauregard Langdon, Tate Langdon, Ben Harmon, Billie Dean Howard and Constance Langdon. Constance agrees to talk to them about Michael if they release Moira O'Hara from the House. The two dig up Moira's remains and bury them with her mother, allowing her to peacefully pass over to the other side. Constance then talks about Michael's violent tendencies as a child before growing a decade of age overnight. Knowing that he would eventually kill her as well, she took her own life in the Murder House to be with her children forever. Behold and Madison then speak with Ben Harmon who reveals he tried to help Michael before Michael learned that Tate was his father. He dressed in the Rubber Man suit and burned the souls of the new owners, utterly destroying them. Shortly after, Vivien Harmon reveals that Miriam Mead arrived at the house with the Black Pope to conduct a ceremony of Black Mass which allowed Michael to ascend to full power as the Anti-Christ. Vivien attempted to kill Michael but failed and he fled.

Armed with the knowledge of Michael's past, Madison and Behold prepare to depart before Madison encountered Violet Harmon. Madison reveals that Tate was simply used as a vessel in order to produce Michael and any evil inside of him left once Michael was born. She also made Violet realize that Tate saved her mother from Michael's flames. Violet and Tate then reunited, giving them a happy ending. As the two witches report back to the Coven, Behold remarks that Madison is nothing but a softy on the inside, showing how her third chance at life has changed her. [14]

After revealing to the Coven that Michael is the Anti-Christ, Madison is sent to recruit Bubbles McGee in order to expose the warlocks' plan. [15]

Madison later escapes the assault at the Academy, fleeing to Misty Day's shack in the swamp, making her one of the last surviving witches alongside Cordelia, Myrtle, Coco and Mallory. The Coven later learns that Michael burned the souls of Zoe and Queenie, and Cordelia slaps Madison for forgetting to inform them about this extent of his powers.

The Coven later devises the plan to send Mallory back in time and kill Michael before his ascension to full power. They place Mallory and Coco under an identity spell, modeling Coco's new personality after Madison in order to demean Mallory and suppress her natural powers to avoid detection from Michael before the time is right.

Madison keeps an eye on the two, posing as an Uber driver. She later learns that Dinah Stevens has a reality show and deduces that she allied with Michael to destroy the Coven in exchange for a show. She wants to burn Dinah at the stake in retaliation and gains support from Myrtle but Cordelia instructs them to stay away from Dinah so as not to alert Michael until it's time to make her pay.

Just prior to the Apocalypse, the trio bury themselves in the healing mud of the swamp in order to survive and put themselves in a magically induced coma. Nearly two years later, they awaken due to the rise of Mallory's power. The three then travel to Outpost 3. As shown before, they resurrect Dinah, Mallory, and Coco and Madison is visibly agitated with Dinah's presence. They remove the identity spell on Coco and Mallory as Michael arrives with Mead. After Marie Laveau arrives and kills Dinah (having been brought back by Cordelia after making a deal with Papa Legba to trade Dinah for Marie), Cordelia blows up Mead. Madison grabs Mead's robotic arm and shoots Michael repeatedly, temporarily killing him. She volunteers to stay behind and hold Michael off. As the rest of Coven hurries to get Mallory to a safe place after she's stabbed, Myrtle sets Brock on fire, causing him to throw himself off the balcony, startling Madison. Michael arises while she's distracted by Brock's fall. Madison groans about having to go back to retail before Michael makes her head explode.

The plan was successful and Mallory travelled back to 2015 and killed Michael prior to his ascension, preventing the Apocalypse. This also undid Madison's resurrection along with other past events, and she is once again trapped in Hell. Mallory promises to go back and retrieve her after letting her "sweat it out" a little more, implying that Madison was presumably resurrected at a later date and brought back to the Coven. [16]

Powers

Madison was a powerful natural born witch who is shown to have mastered six of the Seven Wonders.

  • Telekinesis - The magical ability to move objects with the power of the mind. Telekinesis was the first of Madison's powers to emerge, and she used it to kill a director she was working with on the set of a film. Later she still shows the incredible strength she has in this power, overturning a huge bus in movement, simply by stretching her arm towards it and killing almost all those inside it. It is considered her forte.
    • Telekinetic Earthquake - During her quarrel with Kyle and Zoe in which she struck the latter with a lamp, Madison's telekinetic powers easily triggered a small seismic shock that even attracted Myrtle's attention.[10]
  • Pyrokinesis - The magical ability to create, control and manipulate fire. Madison first manifested this power when she set fire to Joan Ramsey's curtains and shortly thereafter also to light up Fiona's cigarette with maximum precision.[4]
  • Concilium - The magical ability to bend the will of individuals and control their minds. Madison learned to master this power with the assistance of Fiona.[4] Much later, Madison used this power to humiliate Zoe and Kyle during the test of the Seven Wonders.[12]
  • Vitalum Vitalis - The magical ability to balance the scales between life and death. Madison used this power to resurrect a fly during the test of the Seven Wonders.[12]
  • Transmutation - The magical ability to instantaneously move from one location to another. Madison first manifested this power to avoid Cordelia's touch and activating the latter's power of The Sight.[11] She later used transmutation to play tag with Zoe and Queenie during the test of the Seven Wonders.[12]
  • Descensum - The magical ability to descend into the nether worlds of the afterlife. Madison used this power to project herself into her personal hell during the test of the Seven Wonders.[12]
  • Spellcraft - Affinity for casting spells and performing rituals.
    • Resurrection Spell - With the assistance of Zoe, Madison was able to perform this spell to resurrect Kyle.[3]
    • Spirit Revealing Spell - Madison assisted Behold in performing a spell that allows them to be able to see and be seen by the ghosts that inhabit the Murder House.[14]
    • Truth Revelation Powder - Through a handful of white powder, Madison was able to make Violet Harmon understand a unknown truth about her mother and Tate Langdon.[14]
  • Radiation Immunity - When Madison, Myrtle and Cordelia came to Outpost 3 they walked freely on the toxic atmosphere of the outside world caused by the nuclear bombs without suffering any ill effects from the radiation. This is revealed to be because of the healing properties of the Louisiana mud. The trio of witches buried themselves in the swamp in order to stay protected from the nuclear fallout for almost two years and as a result, they gained immunity against the fallout.[17]
  • Aura Detection - The magical ability to detect auras. She was able to tell the difference between Moira's and Hayden's aura, commenting that Hayden's skull has a different vibration than Moira's presence.

Quotes

  • To Zoe Benson: "Jesus, Sabrina. Relax. We're just messing with you."
  • To Spalding: "Is that true, Jeeves? Did you use your tongue for something wicked? Or maybe you just suck at going down. Aww! C'mon, Jeeves. Show us your stub. Maybe we can put it to use."
  • To Zoe Benson: "Given the choices around here it looks like you're my new best friend. Do you own any clothes that don't come from The Gap?"
  • Madison: "It's too hot. My frickin' vagina's sweating."
  • To the Axeman: "Wow did you walk into the wrong house."
  • Madison: "I am a Millennial. Generation Y. Born between the birth of AIDS and 9/11, give or take. They call us "the Global Generation". We are known for our entitlement and narcissism. Some say it’s because we’re the first generation where every kid gets a trophy just for showing up. Others think it’s because social media allows us to post every time we fart or have a sandwich for all the world to see. But it seems that our one defining trait is a numbness to the world, an indifference to suffering."
  • To Fiona Goode in 2013 and Mallory in 2021: "Surprise, bitch. I bet you thought you'd seen the last of me!"
  • To Fiona Goode: "Poor Fifi, as my powers grow, yours fade away."
  • To Queenie: "Is this where we all sing kumbaya?"
  • To Nan: "I get it, bitch, you're clairvoyant!"
  • To Joan Ramsey (about Nan)
    No, bitch, she's clairvoyant!
  • To Myrtle Snow: "Welcome to the revolution carrot-top. As the next Supreme, I'm going to drag this coven out of the dark ages. Crotchless panties for everyone."
  • To Dinah Stevens: "Who cares? As if you could ever defeat anyone with that backwards voodoo shit."
  • To Constance Langdon: "We're the new owners, who are you?"
  • To Behold Chablis after he tells her they should leave the Murder House: If you asked me a few years ago, I'd be hitting up my coke dealer right now. But I got a second chance at life. A third one, actually. I can't fuck it up.
  • To Michael Langdon upon Ms. Mead's death: "Sorry about your little toy... bitch!"
  • To Michael Langdon before her third death: "Oh, fuck. I guess it's back to retail."

Notes

  • She shares her last name with Nora Montgomery and Charles Montgomery, two characters from Murder House, and may be related to them. This is strongly hinted at in "Return to Murder House", when psychic-medium Billie Dean Howard is surprised to meet Madison Montgomery, and responds that she "knew many Montgomeries in [her] day", referring to Nora and Charles.
  • She is the first character portrayed by Emma Roberts. For a complete list of her characters, see Cast.
  • Madison is similar in terms of personality and physical appearance to the young Fiona Goode, which Fiona herself recognizes. It is perhaps due to this and her own narcissism that Fiona suspected Madison to be the Supreme.
  • Madison displayed a noteworthy talent for all of the Seven Wonders, except for Divination.
  • Unlike Misty, Zoe, Queenie, or Nan, Madison doesn't have a unique power, though she is noted to be talented at telekinesis.
  • After her original death and first resurrection, Madison became much more violent in disposition than she was previously, especially toward Zoe Benson. After being resurrected a second time in 2017, Madison has learned to become a better person from the time she spent in Hell, and now recognizes that she wasted her first two chances at life by being a horrible person. She is now trying to rectify her past mistakes by doing good in the world.
  • Madison appears to have experienced three different versions of her own personal hell. In a rare moment of vulnerability, she stated to Kyle that her afterlife was dark and empty. During the Descensum Trial of the Trial of the Seven Wonders, Madison stated that her personal hell was being in a musical. In Apocalypse, her hell is working retail at a department store.
  • In Return to Murder House, Madison seems to demonstrate that she possesses the power of Divination when she touches the skull given to her by Behold to see if it was the skull of Moira. If this was a deliberate and conscious choice or a script error it is not known.
  • Madison is one of two characters to appear in the largest number of episodes of American Horror Story, the other being Cordelia Goode. She has appeared in 20 episodes over two seasons.
  • With the deaths of Queenie and Zoe Benson, Madison was, for a while, the last surviving witch among the four original students from Season 3.

Gallery

References

  1. FX AHSC Fan Guide
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Episode: Bitchcraft
  3. 3.0 3.1 Episode: Boy Parts
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Episode: The Replacements
  5. Episode: Fearful Pranks Ensue
  6. Episode: Burn, Witch. Burn!
  7. 7.0 7.1 Episode: The Axeman Cometh
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 Episode: The Dead
  9. Episode: Head
  10. 10.0 10.1 Episode: Protect the Coven
  11. 11.0 11.1 Episode: Go to Hell
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 12.4 Episode: The Seven Wonders
  13. Episode: Boy Wonder
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 Episode: Return to Murder House
  15. Episode: Traitor
  16. Episode: Apocalypse Then
  17. Episode: Forbidden Fruit